SF Homeless Project: How the initiative started

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- KTVU and 70 other local news media outlets are all focusing this week on the homeless problem in San Francisco with each outlet examining the issue and solutions.

KTVU will air stories each day this week about homelessness and cover what local jurisdictions are doing to get a handle on providing affordable housing to local residents.

Audrey Cooper, top editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and SF Gate who helped initiate the coordinated coverage plan, said during an appearance Monday on KTVU that the idea was to raise awareness about a complex public problem. 

"This time we have more than 70 media organizations that have done something tremendous," she said. "That is we've agreed that at least on one day, Wednesday, the 29th, we are all going to do stories on the causes and solutions to homelessness."

The project kicked off Monday, June 27 with the release of a Letter of Intent that explains the idea behind the concept and what the media companies hope to achieve.

>>>>>>>>>Click here to read the letter of intent 

>>>>>>>>>See more of KTVU's coverage here 

The growing problem of homelessness can be seen in every corner of California, from small towns that ring the state's redwood forests to the sands separating the Pacific Ocean from the most prosperous beachfront communities.

More than 115,000 homeless Californians were counted last year and one in four had a serious mental illness, according to the most recent tally from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, where the startup tech boom is sending rental and housing prices skyrocketing, people who lived in once-modest neighborhoods are being forced to the streets.